Gemstones have been in use since ancient times for rejuvenating the body, mind, and soul. It is not something new to know that stones can aid in healing physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, each of them has distinct properties and meanings.
Through vibrations, they interact with our bodies. Through elegant jewelry pieces, they adorn the body. The healing power is believed to be rendered when stones are used in jewelry. Thus, their application is simple: wear a stone as jewelry and experience the healing power.
Howlite is a distinct mineral available in old evaporite sediments that are rich in gypsum. Composed of hydrous calcium borate, the resulting stone features irregular cauliflower-like stacks and reflects a bone-like luster. In other words, there are nodules appearing similar to cauliflower heads. Its nickname comes from its porcelain or white marble look.
Inherently, this stone is white or light grey in color with brown, black, or grey veining that appears to be a spider web. However, it is usually dyed green, red to mimic a coral stone, or blue to imitate a turquoise stone.
When cut, grey to black matrix veins is seen. Due to these characteristics, the stone is also known as white buffalo turquoise, white turquoise, lapis howlite, kaolinite, and silico boro calcite.
The borate mineral present in sedimentary rocks was found first in the 19th century in Canada by Henry How, who was the nation’s geologist, chemist, and mineralogist. It came to his attention by a team of miners who came across the mineral at the time of mining in Nova Scotia. They found it to be an annoyance, as it was tougher to excavate than gypsum.
Upon knowing about this mineral, Henry named it silico-boro-calcite. However, later, an American mineralogist and geologist named James Dwight Dana named it howlite.
Also tagged as the super calming gem, howlite is in use across the globe for more than a century for many purposes. It is mainly used for relieving the different types of stress and anxieties. It is a great antidote to insomnia because of an overexcited mind. The stone can also help those with having the difficulty in concentrating.
With its white look, soft build, and striking patterns, the stone’s soothing energy can even pacify outbursts of anger and irritation. Its main use is to aid in interacting with aggressive and argumentative people on a daily basis.
It is widely believed that a nice piece of howlite jewelry or adorning howlite in the wardrobe can help in managing relatives and colleagues. In short, the stone makes the wearer feel peaceful and in control.
Howlite is linked with the Crown chakra, aiding you to uplift the levels of quietness and focus. Thus, it improves your ability to awaken and remain more aware. By opening your mind to a greater level of energy and wisdom, the stone is believed to play a big role in one’s spiritual growth.
When dyed in blue, howlite is known as blue howlite or turquoise due to its similarity with turquoise. It carries all the characteristics of natural howlite. Apart from reducing stress, anxiety, and anger, it also strengthens throat chakra (blue color) along with communication.
Howlite, with a sub-vitreous luster, usually grows as irregular small nodules having a size of up to 1 cm. Thus, at the source, the stone is an irregular nodule. When they begin to become visible, they are likely to reach up to a mass of 50 kilograms. The stone in crystal form is rare. If found, these transparent crystals are small; they are just 1 cm long.
Although it has a white look with threaded veins, its few forms are pure white, however. Gemstone quality howlite is likely to be matrix-free meaning it is pure white or an opaquer matrix of veins.
Regardless of its form or appearance, the stone is porous due to which it can absorb liquids well. This is the reason why it is dyed in different colors for mimicking other gems.
This white and grey stone is soft, as it rates approximately 3.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This is between calcite and fluorite. This indicates that while you cannot scratch it with your nails, an actual nail can easily scratch it. This is why when used in jewelry, the stone is usually stabilized due to which it becomes more durable.
The nodules feature a bit rough texture that is analogous to that of unglazed porcelain. Based on the quality, the stone can even possess brown markings. Overall, the texture is distinct.
Howlite is an attunement stone that associates one with upper spiritual consciousness. It stands for reasoning and discernment. It opens the mind to obtain the wisdom and different energies of attunements.
Although simple in look, howlite is an attractive gemstone that not only reduces stress but also facilitates awareness, aids in pain elimination, and encourages emotional expression.
Howlite is known for its ability to soothe emotions and regulate an overactive mind for inducing a relaxing sleep. It aids in accessing wisdom while dreaming and restoring it into consciousness upon getting up from sleep.
The stone instills mental awareness for both past and current life issues and expediates a calm communication of the same. It strengthens positive traits by discarding selfishness, greed, and harsh behavior. The stone is powerful enough to keep away all negative radiations as well as energies.
Physically, the stone is believed to be capable of absorbing calcium into the teeth and bones. It also helps in alleviating muscular tension.
Where to Buy Howlite?
Usually Etsy or Amazon is a good idea. Etsy is the leading online global marketplace of handmade, vintage, and creative goods. Amazon is one of the largest global online marketplaces. Both of them are reliable and easy to find your favorite items there.
Howlite in Jewelry Uses
Howlite has unclear cleavage due to which it is unsuitable for faceting but is quite versatile at the same time. Rather, it is cut en cabochon or transformed into shapes such as spheres, ovals, eggs, pears, and even skulls.
It is also possible to drill it to form stunning beads. Due to the ability to form different shapes, the gemstone is widely used as an adornment and is crafted into intricate designs to make decorative items such as small artifacts and jewelry items.
In the past, howlite has been widely used by jewelers due to its knack for retaining bright, bold dyes. Currently, it has gone through a revival in terms of popularity, the credit for which goes to its white turquoise tag.
Thus, there is a huge demand for undyed howlite. With the classic white tone, you are bound to get a professional feel when used and worn as jewelry.
Currently, howlite stones are used in polished, minimalistic jewelry items as well as in southwestern clothing. They make elegant and versatile jewelry items due to their unisex charm. Taking a fine polish, this stone can be seen in all sorts of jewelry items such as necklaces, cufflinks, bracelets, earrings, pendants, and rings.
Of all, the howlite bracelets are the most popular considering the stone’s healing properties. For a bohemian touch, necklaces and bracelets made of beads are famous.
When carved stunningly and paired with other stones or high-quality materials, the stone becomes an integral part of upscale fashion jewelry. Spherical drilled howlite is used in making stunning beaded bracelets as well as necklaces.
The smooth tumble-finished ones are also processed for designing necklaces and bracelets. Moreover, cabochon cut or fancy cut howlite is widely used for crafting distinct pendants. You can easily find customized pendants, earrings, and bracelets.
Howlite is not that commonly used in rings, particularly in engagement rings, as it is pretty soft. Thus, it is widely used in jewelry items that are not used daily. As gems, it is used commonly in making unique bow ties that are called bootlace ties.
As howlite is dyed for mimicking other gems, a few jewelers take its advantage and sell the dyed forms as turquoise, lapis lazuli, or coral ornaments to obtain more profit. At times, the stone is also layered with resin to make it harder.
Nevertheless, trustworthy dealers will reveal if the stone is altered or treated in any way. The dyed forms are still attractive.
Where Does Howlite Come From?
The most prominent site where this borate mineral is in Canada, especially in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland. You can also find mineral deposits in the USA, particularly in California, Mexico, Russia, Germany, Turkey, Namibia, and Pakistan.
How Much Is Howlite Worth?
Howlite is not among the rarest gemstones such as green garnets. Thus, the good news is that it is not among the most expensive ones. Well, this does not mean that it has no value. Excluding all the means by which it is useful for mimicking other precious gemstones, This stone by itself is a striking and wonderful stone.
Howlite jewelry is usually highly affordable, as most of them come within the price range that anyone can buy. However, as per the materials in use, workmanship quality, and brand, howlite jewelry can demand a range from some dollars to hundreds of dollars.
It is great to know that the stone is inexpensive if you do not value price as an indicator of the quality of a jewelry piece. It is an affordable alternative to other costly gemstones such as turquoise, which appeals to those who want an elegant and distinct gemstone on jewelry sets.
How to Identify Howlite?
You can identify howlite by its appearance of white stone having nodules with natural grey lines. Jewelry with it will have a clean look to it if it is pure white. The luster is earthily glimmering, while the transparency is opaque. Above all, there is no cleavage. With these physical properties, you can easily identify this stone.
There are two more tests to conduct to know whether a given stone is a howlite or not. If it is, it will shine as an off-white, yellowish-white, or a blue shade when kept under shortwave UV light. Another way to test it is to keep it in a hydrochloric acid solution in which a real stone shall dissolve without giving out any bubbles.
How to Use Howlite?
Apart from using a howlite stone in a necklace and wearing it around your neck to feel calm and relaxed or in a bracelet for connecting to higher levels of consciousness, there are some more ways to use it. Following are these other ways:
- Keep it in your pocket to alleviate your anger level or absorb any kind of negative energy.
- Hold it while meditating to reduce anger.
- Place it under your pillow or in grids surrounding the bed to relieve yourself from insomnia and experience better sleep.
- Place it close to your meditating space so that a higher level of interaction can occur between your chakras.
- Place it on the area of your third eye to peep into the memories of past life.
- Prepare a howlite elixir and drink it an hour before you sleep to control an overreactive mind.
How to Cleanse Howlite?
It is important to keep your howlite stone clean. As the stone attracts all negative vibrations from your body and your surroundings, it builds up a huge amount of negativity. Cleansing it means making it free from accumulated negative energies, which is essential if you use or wear the stone regularly.
Luckily, cleansing howlite is easy and fast. Using your common household items is enough for this task. However, there are a couple of ways to clean it. Let’s explore them.
- Using Brown Rice: It may sound weird but this grain is capable of cleansing your howlite. Just add it to a glass bowl, put your stone on it, and let it remain in this state for up to 24 hours. Finally, throw the rice away.
- Using Moonlight: The calming, white moonlight is compassionate, healing, fortunate, and lucky. All you have to do is put the stone safely on the roof, a shelf of the window, portico, or a backyard where the moonlight falls directly upon the stone. You can then use the stone the other day.
- Using Soapy Water: Just make some soapy water and use it to rinse the stone. Then, rinse once again using normal water to remove all soapy residue. Finally, with a soft cloth, dry the stone. You can even use salt water to discard the accumulated toxic energies. In this case, just dip the stone in it for not over seven hours.
It should be noted that just like most other stones, howlite is prone to damage by household cleaners having harsh chemicals. It is also not recommended to use ultrasonic cleaners and steamers for cleansing.
The normal household dust has traces of quartz whose hardness level on the Moh’s scale is 7.5. This means it is more durable than howlite. It indicates that just wiping this dust can finally result in decreased polish and displeasing surface scratches.
Thus, it is wise not to put your howlite jewelry on such that it gets exposed to home dust for months. As it is prone to scratching due to its soft nature, it is wise to remove it or its jewelry prior to cleaning, exercising, or performing any strenuous physical jobs like sports.
You should also keep the stone away from other stones to keep the risk of scratches away. It is ideal to wrap it in a soft cloth or a jewelry box lined with a piece of fabric.
Compared to Similar Gemstones
As howlite is colored to make it look like other gemstones, it is worth distinguishing it from those stones. So, let’s do so right away!
Howlite vs. Turquoise
Howlite is most often colored in blue to resemble turquoise, as the innate veining pattern provides it an artificial similarity. This is why the stone is termed white turquoise but has no relation with the turquoise stone at all.
Currently, most of the turquoise commercially available in the market is allegedly dyed howlite. The main reason for this is that howlite is far more inexpensive to produce than turquoise. This is why dishonest jewelers make more profits via imitation.
The reason why this stone can mimic turquoise easily is not only the truth that it can be dyed but because it also has a web-like matrix similar to turquoise.
It is challenging to imitate this dark webbing unless the base rock already has it. This is something howlite naturally has. Here are key points of differences between these two gemstones:
- Turquoise’s webbing is the result of the residual remains of the host rock structures in which the stone develops. With time, this pattern corrodes, which is unlike that of howlite. Thus, if the webbing is found to be uneven once you run the finger over it, it is most likely to be a rough turquoise. However, it can be smooth too. Thus, this test is not a guarantee of identifying turquoise or howlite.
- Turquoise is considerably harder than howlite, although it is not that hard. This is because it has a hardness rating of between 5 to 6 on Moh’s scale. While you cannot distinguish based on this factor without proper equipment, if the stone in your hand scratches too easily, it is probably howlite.
- You can also identify the stone by assessing the stability of its color. However, this test should be done somewhat creatively by forming a design, as otherwise, it would compromise the surface of the gemstone. Dip a piece of cotton in nail polish remover and run it on the surface. If the blue color comes off, it is a truly dyed howlite.
- The easiest way to distinguish is by checking the price. The artificial turquoise jewelry items have blue turquoise beads and are available at affordable rates. This is usually too unrealistic and the stone is an actually dyed howlite. It is tough and rare to find several turquoise pieces that have a perfect blue match. Thus, genuinely matching pieces will have a big price. In short, genuine turquoise is pricier than howlite. The color of the former is not that even from one bead to another, while an array of dyed howlite will show an exact match and will have a low-price tag. It is vital to note that authentic turquoise can also be dyed to improve its color but removing it will expose a blue surface, not white.
Howlite vs. Magnesite
Dyed howlite is also termed magnesite and is sold as blue howlite. However, it is not real magnesite. Both are chemically different, although both are soft and porous stones. Magnesite refers to a type of carbonate that generates foam when mixed with hydrochloric acid that is warm.
Unlike howlite, this stone has an ideal rhombohedral cleavage. While it is porous as howlite, it tends to stick to your tongue in its natural form when licked. When exposed to UV light, it rarely shines as blue or green.
On the other hand, howlite dissolves rapidly in the acid solution without giving any foam. At times, it shines anywhere from cream yellow to white in UV light (shortwave). Mostly, both these stones are used to mimic turquoise.
Howlite vs. Marble
Both howlite and marble stones are different although the former appears as the latter. White marble is less porous than howlite.
The Best Combination to Use With Howlite
Considering its white milky color and the ability to hold different dyes, howlite mixes well with all gemstones as well as metals. Gold and silver, especially, can be great pals for this stone.
For experiencing peace and relaxation, it is wise to pair howlite with other crystals and stones. It goes well with amethyst, rose quartz, peridot, and blue lace agate.
For experiencing a boost in patience and comprehending people as well as situations, it is ideal to pair it with chrysoprase or amber.
Howlite is a super stress antidote. It differs significantly from turquoise, marble, and magnesite. Due to its porous trait, it is dyed in different colors for making artistic jewelry items as well as home decorations. As it scratches easily, proper care should be taken in maintaining the stone intact.